Valley Center Theft Defense Lawyers
In a recent year, nearly 7 million property crimes known to law enforcement were committed in the U.S., according to the FBI. Property crimes are mainly theft offenses. In California alone, in 2021, the following theft crimes occurred, as reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ):
- 136,275 burglary crimes
- 179,956 motor vehicle theft crimes
- 541,368 larceny-theft crimes
The total value of stolen property in California in 2021 amounted to $3,382,202, of which $1,102,388 was recovered.
Theft crime is on the rise across the nation, as reported by the New York Post. Soon after Proposition 47 was passed in 2014, California retailers began reporting a sharp uptick in retail theft. Proposition 47 is a state ballot initiative that made a number of felony offenses misdemeanors and raised the felony threshold for shoplifting from $450 to $950 worth of merchandise.
Theft crimes are common in Valley Center and San Diego County. Types of theft crime cases we handle include:
- Shoplifting: A person who enters an open business with the intent to steal items valued at $950 or less commits the crime of shoplifting. Unless the accused person has a prior serious felony conviction or is a registered sex offender, shoplifting is a misdemeanor offense that carries a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Grand theft auto: This crime is described as the unlawful taking of a vehicle with the intention of keeping it permanently or for a substantial period of time (as opposed to joyriding, in which there is no intention of permanently stealing the vehicle). Grand theft auto is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. As a misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to one year in jail. As a felony, it carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.
- Identity theft: Stealing someone’s identity involves taking that person’s information to use in an unlawful or fraudulent manner. Identity theft is a wobbler, punishable as a misdemeanor by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both; and as a felony by up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Forgery: This white collar crime involves forging handwriting, signing another person’s name, or altering or creating a financial or legal document for the purposes of fraud. Forgery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the forged instrument. As a misdemeanor, it carries up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. As a felony, forgery is punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Robbery: Taking personal property from another person with the use of force or fear is robbery. This felony crime is charged according to the number of victims. First degree robbery carries up to nine years in prison. Second degree robbery is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. Fines of up to $10,000 may be imposed in both cases.
- Burglary: This offense involves entering or breaking into someone else’s property with the intent of committing theft or a felony inside. It is felony first degree burglary if the property is a residence and second degree burglary (a wobbler) if the property is a business. Misdemeanor burglary carries a maximum jail sentence of one year, while felony burglary is punishable by 16 months, two years, or three years in prison.
If you are facing theft charges in Valley Center, contact jD Law Criminal Defense attorneys at (760) 630-2000 for the skilled criminal defense you need.
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